Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Seattle, WA – The Stritmatter Firm filed a First Amended Complaint against the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office for the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Black father, Derrick Clark Jr.

The wrongful death federal lawsuit claims that Clackamas County unlawfully chased down and shot Mr. Clark in the back.  Failed to render aid for two hours.  And instead, engaged in “tribal behavior.”  Officers congregated near Mr. Clark. Joked and made derogatory comments.  Threw explosive devises at him.   Then sent a police dog to attack his corpse.

On June 18, 2022, officers gave chase because of an alleged lane change violation.  An officer caught up to Mr. Clark’s vehicle and rammed him into a ditch.  Mr. Clark exited the vehicle with a gun and began to run. 

According to the amended complaint:

“As he sprints across a field, Mr. Clark never turns around.  He does not menace nor threaten his pursuers.  He does not point his gun at them.  Instead he throws it away.  Does not slow down.  He just runs.  Like so many other Black men have tried to run away from the police in this country throughout history.  But Mr. Clark cannot run fast enough.  The police run after him.   Guns drawn. Take turns shooting – eight times before they watch him fall to the ground.  His life could have been saved even then.  But saving Mr. Clark was never on the agenda.

For the next two hours what follows can best be described as tribal behavior.  Officers gloat: a macabre series of actions.   As other law enforcement is summoned and converge upon the scene, Mr. Clark lies unmoving.  Moaning.  Completely unarmed.  No aid will ever be rendered.  Officers use a heat sensor drone to double check that he has indeed fallen, though he lies feet away.   It confirms what they already know: Mr. Clark is lying motionless on the ground.   Like a “dead deer” or “humanoid” they say.  Then why, over the course of the next two hours do officers throw a stinger ball explosive device at Mr. Clark.  Why when his body lies as still as it was before, do they throw more explosives at him.   Why do they laugh and chew tobacco and talk about the “boy” being dead.  Then command a canine to get him – to bite and maul him.”

The amended lawsuit claims that according to body worn video, the canine was sent after officers said: “This ole boy is dead”  … “let’s just bite him already”  … “just going to do some janky shit and get it done”  … “this ole boy is no longer with us” …“And he’s going to have a dog bite.”

A grand jury declined to find wrongdoing by the officers.  But the Plaintiffs maintain that they did not review all of the BWV footage which since became available.

The Estate is represented by The Stritmatter Firm of Seattle (Karen Koehler, Mo Hamoudi, Ed Moore).

Statement from the Family

Our family feels betrayed by those sworn to protect us and those sworn to uphold the constitution in a court of law. We were lied to in almost every aspect of what happened on June 18, 2022. Every time we realized we were misled was like losing Derrick all over again. We are angry that the Department of Justice did not thoroughly present facts to the grand jury.

“We are heartbroken for the community in which Derrick mentored and changed many lives in his short 24 years.  We must live on knowing that Derrick’s loving soul was surrounded by hate in his last moments.

– Carrie Miles, Derrick’s Aunt

Left: Sarah Miles holding infant cousin Laken Young

Middle: Carrie Miles holding a young Derrick Clark

Right: Michael Miles, Derrick’s Grandfather

Derrick and his Mother, Sarah Miles